Public health units offer Canadians advice for a COVID-safe Halloween

Health officials remind people to continue mask use, hand-washing and physical distancing but offer some tips for safe ways to have fun
By: Alison Larabie Chase
October 29, 2020
Photo: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press
Photo: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Wear a mask – and not the kind that comes with a Halloween costume. Don’t have or attend parties. Stick to trick-or-treating with your family or household members and stay two metres apart from others, even when handing out or receiving candy. Those are the main takeaways from the various health officers consulted by CBC Radio ahead of the spooky holiday this weekend.

In high-risk regions including Toronto, York, Peel, and Ottawa in Ontario, public health officers recommend that no trick-or-treating take place at all this year, but suggest that families find new ways to have frightful fun, like sharing scary stories, carving and decorating pumpkins, dressing up in costumes for dinner, or having a scavenger hunt at home.

In areas where safely distanced trick-or-treating is okay, health officials say people handing out candy should find creative ways to keep their distance, like using a hockey stick or a pipe/tube to pass out candy or placing individual bags of treats on a step or table for kids to pick up. People who are at higher risk from COVID-19, such as seniors or those who are immunocompromised, may want to skip giving out treats this year. And if you’re feeling sick at all, definitely sit this Halloween out, say health officials.

Some other advice: Sanitize your hands between ringing doorbells, and always wash your hands before digging into your pile of treats. Stay outside – don’t trick-or-treat inside condo or apartment buildings. Most important of all, stick with those you live with and don’t gather with friends to trick-or-treat or swap loot afterwards.

Source: CBC Radio